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Loyalty – Julian Draxler has it

Jun 29, 2013, 3:48 PM EDT

Schalke 04's Draxler celebrates a goal against Werder Bremen during the German first division Bundesliga soccer match in Gelsenkirchen Reuters

A leprechaun, Odin’s 6-legged horse, and loyalty in soccer. What do those things all have in common?

They’re mythological. That is, until Julian Draxler showed up and changed the game.

Having just signed a new 5-year extension with his boyhood club Schalke, the German international is still a wanted man.

According to the German media outlet Bild, Draxler’s new contract includes a €45.5 million ($59.2 million) release clause.

Apparently a number of bigtime clubs were not only willing to match the release, but were also willing to offer the starlet a wage raise up to €12 million ($15.6 million) per year.

Schalke were quite interested in making a deal as well, as it would represent a record-high transfer fee in the history of the Bundesliga.

Instead of making the move 99.9% of players would accept in a heartbeat, he instead told those interested, simply, no.

“This season will be the shortest of my career, and therefore I do not wish to accustom to elsewhere” Draxler said.  “Instead, I will play with Schalke in the Champions League and then fly with the national team to the World Cup in Brazil.”

At just 19 years of age, that kind of loyalty to refuse a massive sum of money is not only extraordinary, it’s groundbreaking.

If you think he stuck around at Veltins-Arena for any reason other than he loves Schalke, think again. After signing his new contract a month ago, he addressed the possibility of having moved to Borussia Dortmund by saying, “”Under no circumstances will I play for Borussia Dortmund in the coming season. I’d have to be brainwashed to join Dortmund.”

This kid loves Schalke, and nothing – not even money…lots and lots of money – can make him think otherwise.

Find me another player in the game like that.  You can’t. Especially not a 19-year-old. A round of applause for Julian Draxler, please.

  1. mkbryant3 - Jun 29, 2013 at 4:26 PM

    Great story. After making a certain income, is much more that important? Becoming a legend with honor is worth so much more.

  2. nussdorferac - Jun 29, 2013 at 5:15 PM

    If only Gotze had made the same choice.

  3. lfcrising - Jun 29, 2013 at 7:24 PM

    Players staying with their boyhood clubs is GENERALLY fan fantasy. He’s 19 w a few years with the club; it’s not like he’s 38 and played his whole career there. While the story is great, my guess is that Draxler is also very pragmatic. See his quote about playing in the WC. Whatever big clubs were after him (let’s naturally assume it was the usual suspects), he prolly was not guaranteed first team minutes but competition. He stays at Schalke, plays UCL, and plays a ton in the year before a WC.

  4. jocoolwu - Jun 29, 2013 at 9:37 PM

    There are plenty of players that stay loyal to their club at the age of 19. If Schalke are not playing Champions League this upcoming season would his loyalty be there? He knows that in 1-3 years if his play on the pitch continues to progress he will have offers from the biggest clubs in Europe. German players for the most part like to stay in Germany especially in a World Cup cycle, but also because it’s the best league in the world, so you don’t have to move abroad.

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